Dec 15: A little more on that experimental shorts program

Collecting works from university alumni, faculty and current students, “UniMadEx” doubles as an anxious supplement to UW’s semester-end Communication Arts showcase

Yesterday, CNN was busy reporting on Kanye West’s visit with the President-elect. So there was only so much room in the network’s scrolling news ticker to report on how Aleppo is literally burning right now.

That same passive-aggression drives the disparity in A Short Piece About Peace, one of the featured shorts in “UniMadEx,” WUD Film’s experimental cinema program playing this Thurs at the Union South Marquee. Hamidreza Nassiri, currently pursuing a PhD in Film, begins with a flurry of talking heads spewing the word “Iran” before zooming in on the nation via Google Earth. What follows is a rhythmic series of cross-cuts between earnest depictions of Iranian culture (rollerskating, bowling, live music, etc.) and the Sheldon Adelsons of the world as they regale audiences with the ease of American nuclear prowess. John McCain’s Beach Boy rewrite becomes a disturbingly repetitive earworm.


Nassiri humbles his own efforts with a disclaimer, emphasizing that his piece is a “response” first and a film second. Whatever the categorization, count A Short Piece among the most sobering of the 13 selections promised and right in line with any self-assessing avant-garde program worth its salt. Noah Huber’s Seep toys with rhythm as well, teasing shaky, blurred visuals as it hones in on its auditory embellishments. Flashes of a light bulb and blurry suggestions of subterranean surfaces play second fiddle to familiar, arid noises. Huber seems to challenge our ears to fill in the blank spaces provided.

Schism, from Zheng Xu and Joyce Wu, explores the disconnect between our desires and our reality. Simple, arresting edits heighten the sadness of a soggy cheeseburger by juxtaposing it with shrimp and rice. A wayward glance between strangers becomes a tantalizing what-if in the hands of Xu and Wu.

William Doty’s View From My Window! video collage smears together the glossy hubris of The Wolf of Wall Street and Sears commercials with news network devastation and 9/11 broadcasts. Clips from celebrities joining Matt Damon’s “Toilet Strike” push questions about our lived experiences through screens over the edge.

Collecting works from university alumni, faculty and current students, “UniMadEx” doubles as a more anxious supplement to UW’s semester-end Communication Arts showcase this Sat as well. Mike Lind’s Tote that barge!/ Life that bale!/ birthday renaissance latches onto the indifference in the lyrics of “Ol’ Man River,” removing much of the sentimentality from abandoned birthday balloons and personalized confetti. Encouraging platitudes not provided.

  • WUD Film presents “UniMadEx” on Thurs, Dec 15 at 7:00p in the Union South Marquee. Admission is FREE and open to the public.